Sunday, 23 June 2013


I wrote yesterday about being careful who we put our trust in - and that placing trust in people can be like living on a spider's web. Of course the answer lies in placing our trust in Jesus. God will never let us down.

Isaiah 26:3-5- "You will keep in perfect peace

    those whose minds are steadfast,

    because they trust in you.

Trust in the Lord for ever,

    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal."

Hebrews 10:23 – “Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” (NLT)

May God continue to hold you in his hand. May you experience the love of a trustworthy God.

Living in Grace

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Trust on a spider's web!

    "What they trust in is fragile; what they rely on is a spider’s web." - Job 8:14

     When we put our trust in people and in things, Job says it is as if we are placing these things on a spider's web. It is as fragile as that - our trust in people is as flimsy as the thread of a web. It is little wonder that we end up being disappointed?

    The Psalms teach us to place our trust in God. He is much more secure than anything man can offer us.

  • Psalm 118:8 - “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.”

Release your burning issues to God and trust him to help you.

Living in Grace

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Solomon on work

"So I turned in despair from hard work. It was not the answer to my search for satisfaction in this life..." - Ecclesiastes 2:20

We would be surprised at how many people think that 'working harder' is the answer to all their problems. They think that the more hours they put into work, the more rewarded and blessed they will feel. However, as we all find out eventually, it is not the answer - it never will be.

Please don't get me wrong, work IS important. God created us to work and we can glorify Him when we work well and when we use our gifts to the best of our abilities, BUT work should never become our God. As soon as we make work number One, then we have turned our eyes away from God and others who are important.

Solomon realised his work would never be the Final answer - it could never satisfy him completely.

May you honour God through your work today, but let's not make work our God.

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A hard question

When Job's wife questioned why he stayed loyal to God he asked her this tough question:

"Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?" - Job 2:10

Some people believe that when we go through times of suffering that God has abandoned us or that God is inflicting us with pain. Job challenged this thought, by indicating that we can't just accept the "nice" stuff from God - and not the discipline.

If God was like a celestial ATM, giving out millions of rands to everyone Christian, then the whole world would follow Him. But, that is not part of the call - the call is to be a follower of Jesus, in every circumstance. That means we may face times of a believing in a God who seems aloof or of a God who isn't answering our every prayer. This does not mean that God hates us or has abandoned us. In the end we see God's redemptive hand.

How would you respond to Job's question?

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

A God who cares

On Sunday I shared on the theme of a 'God who cares.' It centred around believing in a God who truly cares for his children and who loves us as an 'ideal' parent should. In the days of Jesus many people believed in a God who displayed 'apatheia' - which is the inability to feel any emotion at all (we get the word 'apathy' from this word). How wrong they were!

Jesus' life showed us that he is indeed the God who cares - he has compassion, mercy, love, patience and empathy on all his children. As William Barclay puts it:

"The greatest thing Jesus did was to bring us the news of a God who cares."

So, if you are asked the question, "Does God care about me?" I hope that you can answer with confidence - "Absolutely - I know he does!"

May you know that God does care and that he loves you.

Why don't you pass this message onto someone who needs to hear this today.

Living in Grace

Sunday, 16 June 2013


"They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” - Hebrews 12:10-11

When God disciplines us it is because he wants us to be ready to share in his 'holiness' - that is such an awesome reason to go through discipline, don't you think? People go into strict training to be ready for sports events or to perform musically, but we struggle to accept spiritual discipline. Why is that? Is it because we don't trust God's outcome or do we think that we know best.

Next time you sense God's discipline, don't become bitter, but rather rest in God's good hands.

Have a blessed day.

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Seeing through tears

"Sometimes we can see more through our tears than we can through a telescope." - Michael Catt

I came across this quote in a book by Michael Catt and I find it intriguing. Often we think that our tears blind us and prevent us from seeing anything. Catt adds a new dimension onto this by suggesting that our tears allow us to see Jesus more clearly. It is in the midst of our suffering that we open our hearts to the healing power of Jesus.

Richard Baxter - "Suffering unbolts the door of the heart so that the Word hath easier entrance."

May we see Jesus, even in the midst of our difficulties.

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

A lesson from Frost

The past two mornings have been cold in Pietermaritzburg. Driving to school and work in the early mornings one has seen fields covered in frost. In a way it has been beautiful to see the first rays of sunlight reflecting of the frost - it is our version of a 'winter wonderland!'

But, here is the thing with frost - it looks white, but it is actually not! Frost crystals are translucent and so they scatter light in all different directions - this then gives the impression that the frost is white.

As a Christ-follower it is our role to scatter the 'Light' of Jesus in all different directions. When we do this Christ is exalted and glorified. People then notice how the 'Light' changes us.

Are you reflecting the Light of Jesus in your heart today?

  • Psalm 147:16 - "He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes."
  •  Job 38:29 -  "Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens?"
May you be touched by the grace of Jesus today.

Living in Grace

Monday, 10 June 2013

Hello Darkness

Reading through Psalm 88 this morning I was startled by the ending.

"...the darkness is my closest friend." - Psalm 88:18

All of the Psalms are brutally honest and contain their fair share of bleakness, but they usually end up in a positive place. Today's Psalm leaves us hanging, wondering how things turn out for the writer.

The next Psalm immediately starts with a positive note - "I will sing of the Lord's great love for ever" which is a great continuation of the story and leaves me feeling a little more encouraged.

By the way, when I had finished reading Psalm 88, the song 'Hello Darkness' by Simon and Garfunkel came into my mind:

"Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence."

May God be with us in the midst of our dark moments.

Living in Grace

Friday, 7 June 2013


Michael Cassidy had the privilege of visiting Antarctica a few years ago and he is sharing his awesome presentation at Wesley Methodist Church on Saturday 8 June at 10am (note time change). If you are free and able to attend it will be a worthwhile experience. Cost is a R25 donation to AROCHA.

Here is what some people have said about Antarctica:

"If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart. Art, and it would be Michelangelo. Literature, and it would be Shakespeare. And yet it is something even greater; the only place on earth that is still as it should be. May we never tame it." - Andrew Denton

“I had a dream when I was 22 that someday I would go to the region of ice and snow and go on and on till I came to one of the poles of the earth.” - Ernest Shackleton 

I thank God for the beauty of His amazing creation.

Living in Grace

Thursday, 6 June 2013

What to do in testing times?

We will all go through testing times in our faith. Not all of these times are of God's design, some are of our own poor choices. Thankfully God is always able to guide us through these complex moments. When Watchman Née was asked about his understanding of Christianity, his reply was surprisingly honest:
"To hold onto the plough while wiping our tears; that is Christianity."

I like his words. To often we stop serving God or doing His work when we are faced with tough trials. To serve Christ is to expect those times of trial, to shed the tears, but also to carry on with God's call.

So hold onto the plough, wipe the tears and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.

Living in Grace

Wednesday, 5 June 2013


What's your calling?

Is it to help others or to serve people in your profession? 
Is it perhaps to use your gifts to bless others or to help the needy?
Do you see your calling to be the best you can be, no matter who or what stands in your way?
Do you think that your calling is still unfolding for you at this moment?
Could you calling be to love your family in the best way possible?

I strongly feel that each one of us has a calling and that we need to be fulfilling that calling in order to sense that we are in the will of God. Otherwise we will keep feeling frustrated and empty.

Oswald Chambers wrote these words on what he felt was a calling:
"Our calling is not primarily to be holy men and women, but to be proclaimers of the Gospel of God."

This calling would then include all of us. If we aimed to proclaim the Gospel of  God (which is about being redeemed by a loving Saviour) then we would want to move towards the Holiness of God.

"A calling is something you feel - you look out and see the need - maybe it's the need for the poor, to help poor people. Maybe it's the need to get involved in the race problem, as Martin Luther King was - he felt called." - Billy Graham

So, let me ask you again - what is your calling? Are you living it out in your life now?

Living in Grace

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Beauty at Sunrise

The winter sunrises are awesome at the moment. I think that the dust particles and morning clouds make these sunrises even more spectacular. This reminds me that sometimes God's light shines more beautifully through the difficulties of our lives. It would be nice not to have the 'dust' and 'clouds' in our lives, but that is unrealistic. Everyone has to deal with troubles and problems, but perhaps we could allow Christ's light to reflect off our lives and to reveal His majesty.

"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations." -
Charles R. Swindoll

May God's grace reflect off your life today!

Living in Grace

Monday, 3 June 2013

Why make it so hard, Lord?

Forgiveness is such a complex topic and I feel that even trying to write a short post on this topic may seem like I am "dumbing" it down a bit. This is not my aim, but I do want to venture a few thoughts on this 'hard' topic.

Most people are overjoyed to receive the mercy and forgiveness of God. To hear the words, "Your sins are forgiven" is like hearing, "you have won the Lotto" - except it could be even better! In fact, many modern Christians come to expect that it's God "job" to forgive our sins and to wipe clean the slate of our messed-up lives ... again and again!

However, what we fail to grasp is that God asks us to live as forgiven people, treating others with the same mercy and grace that God has revealed to us. In other words, God expects that "Forgiven People, will Forgive!"

Now, hang on a minute, that is a tough call. God seems a little hasty in His expectations doesn't He? Does God really believe I should be forgiving those who have wronged me and ill-treated me? The answer is 'Yes' - even as hard as that may be. Forgiveness can release us from the bondage that we may be experiencing. When I choose to forgive those who have wronged me, then I release the power they have over my life. I give back control to God and take it away from the person that hurt me.

Worth thinking about, perhaps?!

Message (Eugene Peterson) - "You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part."

Living in Grace

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Don't run in vain

"I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain." - Galatians 2:2

My heart always goes out to those Comrades runners who are close to the finish line, but fail to make the cut off. It seems like a cruel twist of fate. They spend so many hours training and the whole day on the road, but in the end they are just short. (I suppose they have some consolation in competing and actually crossing the line albeit with no medal)

When it comes to the race of life and faith, we need to make sure that we don't run in vain. What good is it for us to get to the end of our lives and to have failed to 'make it?' For me, choosing Jesus is the first step in any race of faith. He is our starting point and he becomes our goal and reward.

As you run the race of life, have you made your choice?
Let's not run in vain.

Living in Grace